• Proposed
  • 2Under Assessment
  • 3Preliminary Assessed
  • 4Assessed
  • 5Published

Otidea smithii Kanouse

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Scientific name
Otidea smithii
Common names
IUCN Specialist Group
Cup-fungi, Truffles and Allies
Assessment status
Proposed by
Noah Siegel
Comments etc.
Noah Siegel

Assessment Notes

Taxonomic notes

Described from California, USA, based on a collection made in the coastal dune forests of Del Norte County (Kanouse 1939).

Why suggested for a Global Red List Assessment?

Otidea smithii is an uncommon but widespread cup fungus in western North America. Currently known from coastal populations from the San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA, north into British Columbia, Canada; across the Cascade Range in the Pacific Northwest, and the Rocky Mountains from Colorado, USA north into Yukon, Canada.

Despite the widespread population, it is currently known from only ~40 locations (Mycoportal 2021), but likely remains under reported. It does not seem to be tied to any threatened habitat, and no decline has been recorded, therefore, I suggest listing as Least Concern (LC).

Geographic range

Widespread in western North America, from San Francisco Bay Area on the northern California coast, north into British Columbia; through much of the Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington, east into the Rocky Mountains from Colorado north to Yukon.

Reported from India (Mycoportal 2021), these records likely pertain to a distinct species, and are not included in this assessment.

Population and Trends

Population is very widespread, although only occasionally reported. Currently known from ~40 locations, from a wide variety of habitats; coastal forested dunes, coastal temperate rainforest, and drier mixed conifer cascade forests in the Pacific Northwest, and mixed conifer to boreal forests in the Rocky Mountains. It is also known from urban habitat with an introduced Cedrus sp. in California. Data to fully assess trends is lacking, but recent collections suggest it is stable.

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology

Scattered, often clustered, in humus or moss, occasionally in grassy areas. Found in a wide variety of habitats; typically found under conifers and Bigleaf Maple in the northern part of its range, pine, fir and spruce in coastal dunes,  and under live oak to the south; also occurs with introduced Cedrus.

Boreal ForestTemperate Forest


No specific threats have been identified with regards to this species.

Conservation Actions

This species is included on the United States Forest Service Northwest Forest Plan Survey and Manage list of rare/old growth forests dependent fungi, and has been actively surveyed for since the late 1990’s. (Castellano et al. 1999).

Research needed

A better understanding of habitat requirements.

Life history & ecology

Use and Trade

None known.


Castellano, M.A., Smith, J.E., O’Dell, T., Cázares, E. and Nugent, S. 1999. Handbook to Strategy 1 Fungal Species in the Northwest Forest Plan. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station: Portland, OR. 195 p.

Kanouse, B.B. 1939. Notes on new or unusual Discomycetes. Papers of the Michigan Academy of Sciences 24: 25–29.

MyCoPortal. 2021. http://mycoportal.org/portal/index.php. Accessed on February 17.

Olariaga, I., Vooren, N.V., Carbone, M. and Hansen, K. 2015. A monograph of Otidea (Pyronemataceae, Pezizomycetes). Persoonia 35: 166–229.

Siegel, N. and Schwarz, C. 2016. Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fungi of Coastal Northern California. Ten Speed Press, Emeryville, CA. 603 p.

Siegel, N., Vellinga, E.C., Schwarz, C., Castellano, M.A. and Ikeda, D. 2019. A Field Guide to the Rare Fungi of California’s National Forests. Bookmobile: Minneapolis, MN. 313 p.

Country occurrence

Regional Population and Trends

Country Trend Redlisted